It's time to break out the slow cooker, but not for dinner! Use it instead to make big batches of soul-warming drinks! Slow cookers are great for gently mulling wine or cider, but they can also be used to make hot chocolate or lattes for your holiday party.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when using your slow cooker to make hot drinks.
5 Recipes for Slow Cooker Hot Drinks
- Apple Cider Hot Toddy - The Little Epicurean
- Cranberry Cider - Kleinworth & Co.
- Slow Cooker Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate - Creme de la Crumb
- German Mulled Wine (Glühwein) - Tidy Mom
- Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Lattes - The Magical Slow Cooker
5 Tips for Slow-Cooker Drinks
1. Bundle up loose spices.
No one wants to pick a whole peppercorn or clove out of their mouth or, worse yet, accidentally bite into one. For smaller spices, bundle them up in a piece of cheesecloth before tossing them in to mull. A tea ball can also do the trick here.
2. Make spiking optional.
If your drink just calls for a small amount of booze, put the bottle on the side for people to spike their own drinks. This allows those who are not drinking to still enjoy what you made, and you can even put out a variety of liquors that people can choose from in case someone doesn't like, say, brandy.
3. Try fresh fruit.
Fresh fruit can add a pop of sweet-tart flavor to a slow-cooker drink. Try cranberries, citrus slices or peels, apple slices, or other fragrant winter fruit.
4. Don't let it cook too long.
While the flavors in a slow-cooker drink do get more balanced as they cook, there is such a thing as letting it cook for too long. Bitter flavors can start to come out of some of the ingredients — especially citrus — so once your drink is where you want it, you may want to fish out the strongly flavored ingredients.
5. Make a backup batch.
Have a large party but only one slow cooker? Make sure you make extra batches in a large pot that you can refill your slow cooker with. Better yet, put a helpful guest in charge of keeping an eye on the slow cooker so that it's never empty.